Disclaimer: The health of DansDeals readers is this website’s paramount concern. For your sake and the sake of those around you, consider staying at home while COVID-19 is still spreading or try booking for after you think COVID-19 will no longer be a threat. Remember to travel responsibly and take precautions as suggested by your local authorities to avoid spreading the virus.
Disclaimer #2: Israel is not currently open for foreigners, except for limited exceptions that require an application for entry. Entrants to Israel will have to quarantine for 14 days, except for limited exceptions with positive and then negative COVID-19 PCR results.
United typically has excellent nonstop award availability between North America and Israel in coach, especially for United cardholders who have access to greatly expanded award availability. Before COVID-19, nonstop business class award space between North America and Tel Aviv was notoriously scarce.
Close-in flights were hard to find for the past few months, but United has increased from 7 to 10 weekly flights between Newark and Tel Aviv, and award space is wide open whether you want to fly next month or next year.
United allows free award changes and cancellations if you book your ticket in July. Awards for travel in 2020 can be cancelled and miles refunded if you cancel 30 days before travel. Awards for travel in 2021 can be changed free of charge.
Awards are also available between Chicago, San Francisco, and Washington DC to/from Tel Aviv.
Use the United one-way calendar option to find saver awards:
United’s Newark-Tel Aviv flights operate with Polaris seating that have direct aisle access for every business class seat. You can choose from solo seats or seats for people traveling together.
Business class seats include United’s newly launched Polaris business class service with Saks Fifth Avenue bedding and pillows. Savvy travelers will also request a Saks Fifth Avenue mattress pad, gel cooled pillow, slippers, and pajamas, as those are not proactively offered by flight attendants as there aren’t enough of them for everyone.
Business saver class award booking options:
- You can transfer miles from Chase Ultimate Rewards to United (1:1 ratio) instantly. United charges 42.5K one-way in coach or 75K one-way in business class for United flights to Israel. United now also charges 1,500-3,000 extra miles for tickets bought close-in to the flight date. Awards can be cancelled for free within 24 hours. United never collects fuel surcharges. After 24 hours, non-elites will pay $75 to cancel awards more than 60 days before a flight or $125 within 60 days of a flight. Awards can be booked online.
- You can also redeem 75K United miles for business class even when there is only coach available. Read this post for how to do that via “Plan B”.
- Having a Chase United Consumer card or a Chase United Business card greatly expands the saver award space that you can book. United.com only shows the lowest available award rate when you’re logged in, so a cardholder may see a 42.5K rate while a non-cardholder will see the 95K standard rate. Cardholders also have the ability to book the last seat available in any class with Standard/Everyday awards.
- Learn more about rapidly accumulating Ultimate Rewards points here.
- Air Canada Aeroplan charges 40K in coach or 82.5K in business class one-way. There are no fuel surcharges for United flights. Points transfer instantly (1:1 ratio) from AMEX. Transfers from Marriott (60K:25K ratio) can take 2-20 days.
- Avianca Lifemiles charges 42.5K in coach or 78K in business class one-way. There are no fuel surcharges for any flights. Points transfer instantly (1:1 ratio) from AMEX, Capital One, or Citi. Transfers from Marriott (60K:25K ratio) can take 2-20 days.
- Aegean charges 35K miles in coach or 55K miles in business class one-way. They don’t charge fuel surcharges for United flights. Transfers from Marriott (60K:25K ratio) can take 2-20 days.
- Turkish charges a mere 32K miles in coach or 47K miles in business class one-way. They don’t charge fuel surcharges for United flights. Transfers from Citi (1:1 ratio) take about a day and transfers from Marriott (60K:25K ratio) can take 2-3 days. Read more in this post.
- Singapore charges 45K in coach or 76.5K in business class one-way. There are no fuel surcharges for United awards. You can transfer points from AMEX, Chase, or Citi at a 1:1 ratio, but it will take about day for points to show up. Transfers from Marriott (60K:25K ratio) can take 2-20 days.
- ANA charges 65K miles in coach or 104K miles in business class round-trip, one-way awards aren’t available. There are no fuel surcharges for United awards. It can take 1-3 days to transfer points from AMEX to ANA (1:1 ratio) and transfers from Marriott to ANA (60K:25K ratio) can take 2-20 days.
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Will you book any awards with free cancellations?